by Lisa Fromm
The fire that destroyed part of the
Psi Upsilon fraternity house on the
eve of the first day of finals did less
damage than was expected, according
to the fraternity's President Scott
Iinerk, an LSA senior.
*- Electrical problems started the
fire in the attic and set the insulation
between the third floor and the attic
on fire. No injuries were reported.
One third floor room was totally
gutted, and two other rooms were
heavily damaged by the fire and par-
tial collapse of the roof, Kinerk said.
All but four occupants have been
able to move back into the house.
construction work has been ongoing
since the Dec. 13 fire. The four re-
maining men are expected to move
in by the end of the week, said Kin-
The Ann Arbor Fire Department
was notified at 6:30 pm and left at
11:30. pm, according to Fire De-
partment records.rIt took 34 fire per-
sonnel and 9 fire trucks to control
* The fraternity's smoke alarm sys-
tem failed to notify the residents be-
fore they were alerted by a passer-by
who noticed the smoke, said frater-
nity Vice-president Brock McClel-
Ian. Some fraternity members said
they smelled smoke earlier in the
afternoon but didn't know its origin.
Besides the heavy fire damage,
other rooms on the west side of the
house sustained smoke and water
d 4amage. But it wasn't as much as
onlookers had predicted. "There was
definitely less damage than we ex-
pected that night, or else the con-
struction is better than we thought."
Psi Upsilon's insurance is cover-
1ing the cost of repairs of the house,
and residents' individual homeowners
insurance will cover personal be-
longings damaged in the fire, Kinerk
The Michigan Daily- Thursday, January 11, 1990 - PageS
More than 50,000 people came yesterday to the center of Vilnus, U.S.S.R., for the meeting for independence for
Lithuania. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev visits the Baltic Republic today.
20,000 LBthuanicans protest
Soviet rule in Baltic republic
WASHINGTON (AP) - A
sharply divided Supreme Court yes-
terday limited federal judges' powers
to stamp out civil rights violations,
overturning fines against Yonkers,
N.Y., council members who blocked
a housing desegregation plan.
Dissenting justices said the 5-4
ruling may stiffen the resolve of de-
fiant public officials in discrimina-
tion cases, and one justice called the
decision "blind to the scourge of
racism in Yonkers."
Civil rights leaders, still smart-
ing from the high court defeats last
year, said the ruling suggested "a fur-
ther step away from the court's
commitment to civil rights."
Chief Justice William Rehnquist,
writing for the court, said the judge
who imposed the fines against the
four Yonkers council members ex-
ceeded his authority. The judge
should have waited to see whether
potentially bankrupting penalties
against the city would force adoption
of the desegregation plan before even
considering fining the council mem-
bers, Rehnquist said.
In the Yonkers case, Rehnquist
said fines against public officials
will encourage them "to declare that
they favor an ordinance not in order
to avoid bankrupting the city for
which they legislate but in order to
avoid bankrupting themselves."
That, he said, "effects a much
greater perversion of the normal leg-
islative process than does the impo-
sition of sanctions on the city."
The court previously left intact
fines against the city, and Rehnquist
said yesterday, "There can be no
question about the liability of the
city of Yonkers for racial discrimina-
Justice William Brennan, in a
dissenting opinion, said yesterday's
ruling may intimidate judges who
fear they will be second-guessed by
the high court. He said it also could
encourage public officials to become
"political martyrs" by defying rea-
sonable court orders opposed by their
"I worry that the court's message
will have the unintended effect of
emboldening recalcitrant officials
continually to test the ultimate reach
of the remedial authority of the fed-
eral courts," he said. The decision is
"blind to the scourge of racial poli-
tics in Yonkers."
Brennan was joined by Justices
Thurgood Marshall, Harry Black-
mun, and John Stevens.
Joining Rehnquist were Justices
Byron White, Sandra O'Connor, An-
tonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy.
Steven Shapiro, a lawyer with
the American Civil Liberties Union,
said "I think the decision is more
significant as a political symbol
than legally. It will be perceived as a
further step away from the court's
commitment to civil rights."
The Yonkers case attracted na-
tional attention in the summer of
1988 as the defiant council members
were threatened with jail as well as
fines, and the city faced possible
bankruptcy for refusing to obey U.S.
District Judge Leonard Sand's deseg-
Faced with massive layoffs of
city workers, the city council re-
versed itself and on Sept. 10, 1988,
voted to comply with Sand's order to
build 1,000 low-cost homes to de-
segregate middle-class areas of the
city just north of New York City.
VILNIUS, U.S.S.R. (AP) -
Thousands of Lithuanians defied the
Kremlin and cried, "Freedom!" at a
pro-independence rally yesterday, the
eve of Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev's high-stakes visit.
Banners held by some of the
20,000 people who massed on
Cathedral Square ranged from one
polite welcome to blunt calls for
Gorbachev to go home - and take
the Red Army with him.
"We didn't join the Soviet
Union, you grabbed us!" read one
banner, referring to the Soviet
Union's absorption of the Baltic re-
public in 1940.
Gorbachev is scheduled to arrive
today and meet for three days with
factory workers, collective farmers,
members of ethnic minorities and
Communist Party activists. He will
press for a reversal of the Lithuanian
Communist Party's decision last
month to split from the national
party and support independence for
the Baltic republic.
As never before in his nearly five
years in power, the Kremlin chief
will put his personal prestige on the
line to cool one of his country's
hottest ethnic crises.
Although he has granted Lithua-
nians and their neighbors in Estonia
and Latvia a large measure of eco-
nomic and political power, he has
consistently and sharply criticized
Lithuanian Communist leaders for
pressing for complete independence,
and convened an emergency session
of the national party Central Com-
mittee last month to discuss the is-
The stakes for the visit are high.
If Gorbachev fails to bring the
Lithuanians back to the fold, com-
munist parties in the 14 other re-
publics could feel encouraged to
break with Moscow.
Leaders of Sajudis, Lithuania's
popular political movement, hope to
draw 1 million people to the capital
Vilnius today to show Gorbachev
wide support for independence.
He is treating the Communist
Party split as a critical setback in his
reform program. The Soviet leader
sent a crew of top-level national
party officials headed by Kremlin
ideology chief Vadim Medvedev to
lobby party members in all walks of
life in preparation for his visit.
Although activists in Lithuania,
which was absorbed by the Soviet
Union along with the other Baltic
republics of Latvia and Estonia, have
been approaching the call for inde-
pendence for 18 months, some say
independence is years away even in
their most favorable scenarios.
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